Eyestylist returned to Algha Works, London – the home of classical British eyewear
Behind the memorable doors of Algha Works, an historic artisan eyewear factory now surrounded by new builds and wastelands in the East End of London, are some of Europe’s most highly skilled craftsmen and women, making spectacles the traditional way, through years – in some cases decades – of dedication to the meticulous craft.
The building itself has stood the test of time. In 1940, a bomb exploded just outside on Smeed Road and it was described as a miracle that Algha Works – and its extraordinary collection of German-made machinery and specialised tools survived. Today, within the factory’s distinctive graffitied walls, lies a complex artisan operation that remains much as it was in the ’30s, historic and infused with a deep heritage which has brought it consistent recognition and loyalty from customers around the world.
Preserving the most classical forms and constructions, delicately tweaked for the contemporary wearer, each of the Savile Row rolled-gold styles today continues to be produced in the old fashioned manner with numerous steps to achieve a final “bespoke-finished” product. Model Beaufort exemplifies the ultimate signature panto shape of the Savile Row collection, worn by a host of well-known faces such as Harrison Ford (as Indiana Jones) and Johnny Depp. Typical of the styles in the line, the frame comes in a choice of gold or rhodium with a choice of colour for the Windsor rim, typically black, chestnut, tortoise or blond. https://savileroweyewear.com/retailshop/beaufort
The Savile Row Panto is unequivocally a star in the collection, worn famously by John Lennon as well as Eric Clapton (the Diaflex Panto version). Engravings, which elevate the unique finish of these retro-infused spectacles, can be applied to parts of the frame such as the bridge (illustrated above) – the operation to create such a delicate and ornate patterning is precise and requires particular expertise – using the very same machines that were brought from Germany many decades ago. Link to The Panto online: https://savileroweyewear.com/retailshop/panto For more details about Savile Row Eyewear visit www.savileroweyewear.co.uk
Eyestylist returned to Algha Works in January 2020. For further details about previous visits to the factory, visit https://www.eyestylist.com/2014/01/british-eyewear-heritage/